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Upgrading to heavier gear
August 24, 2007
6:38 pm
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T_Musky
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My last musky trip, I had 80 # power pro break when yanking on a snag (I had just re-tied that morning and the line wasn't frayed). Also, I had 80 # flourocarbon leader snap in the middle (it wasn't at the knot). In both situations, I got snaged grinding rocks and other stuff at the bottom.

First it was upgrading from 65 # power pro to 80 # power pro, now this. Where does it stop. I just ordered 130 # and 200 # flourocarbon leaders, but am sticking with 80 # power pro main line.

I beleive in upgrading my line/leaders as soon as one of them breaks, so it doesn't happen again. Where do you all draw the line on heavy line (ha, ha).

Tim

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August 24, 2007
7:38 pm
DL
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Tim,

First, snags are a fact of life and one you have to resign yourself to. Secondly, 80lb PowerPro should be more than sufficient for the fish we're after. Third, the heavier the line, the less casting performance you get out of it. Along with hindering your length of cast, I personally believe it effects the action of certain lure types.
As far as the flourocarbon leaders, I have no opinion because I don't use them. I would think though that the heavier the leader the more it effects the action of the lure.
Just my two cents worth.

DL

DL

August 24, 2007
8:29 pm
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Tim,

I agree with DL.. 80lb is more than enough. Also there had to be a reason that the 80# line snapped. 80# line doesn't snap for no reason!. I too have never used floro leaders but have heard good things about them. I personally make my own single wire leaders that are rated for 125# and never had a problem with them and I think they don't effect lure action.

I personally use 65# Spiderwire Stealth and love it. I just recently tried the suffix braid but I am not crazy about it. It is very noisy and tend to bury up on the spool. I think power pro and spiderwire stealth perform about the same but the spiderwire holds its coating much longer..

There is my 2 cents.
Sebastian

August 24, 2007
10:51 pm
bigdriverguide
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My two cents:

I've caught everything from 85lb. Drum, 30lb. Stripers and yes, even the occasional Muskie on both 65lb and 80lb TUF Line and never had a problem with breaking (there was that time though, on the Lehigh, when my lure ended up in a tree... but I digress). Seriously though, it depends more on the brand than the lb. test when you get into the stuff we're using. Power Pro is a favorite of many but it's way too stiff for me. I have used it and had more problems with it than any other line I'd ever used. Try a more supple line and that may be the ticket for you.

As for Flourocarbon, I've never had a leader fail. The nice thing about flourocarbon is that you can check for abrasion and replace and the first sign of a nick, which should save you from losing lures in the future. I was using flouro exclusivly until Greg and Eric brought to my attention that many glide baits won't work welll (or at all) with flouro.

Capt. Dieter Scheel    http://www.BigDRiverGuide.com

August 25, 2007
2:30 am
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Tim,you said you were bottom grinding.Is it possible your line and leader got nicked while grinding causing a weak spot?Bob

August 25, 2007
2:49 am
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T_Musky
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It really depends on the type of fishing you are doing. Honestly, the leader was a little banged up, but there were no nicks that were more than a quarter of the way through. I checked it enough. For grinding bottom trolling, I've learned that 80 # power pro and 80 # flourocarbon leaders BREAK. Now, it's time to either not do that anymore, or upgrade the gear.

Last fall, I got bitten off by a big, head thrashing musky using 65# power pro (the break was above the leader). Also, I've left a monster beleiver and a legend plow in a muskies mouth on the St. Lawrence. It's sickening.

But, hey use what you want. I'm just asking whether its better to upgrade your gear before you loose a great lure or maybe a great fish, or after. But, I want to make sure I'm not loosing fish because the lure doesn't have good action. It's a matter of experience I guess, lessons learned.

Tim

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August 25, 2007
3:06 am
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Tim, how long are your leaders.If fish are getting past your leader it sounds like it needs to be longer.And if there are "any" nicks in a flouro leader it should be changed.Also look for areas that are discolored.Bob

August 25, 2007
3:28 am
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T_Musky
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The leaders were too short, that's one of the things I learned when trollling. Probably between 12 and 18 inches.

It's too easy to keep the same leader after casting for hours and then deciding to do some trolling. We probably all do it.

I've tied some 3 ft. trolling leaders and plan on using the 60 inch 200 # trolling leaders I ordered for heavy stuff.

I will experiment with heavier than necessary leaders and see how it turns out. If it doesn't work, well I haven't caught much this year anyway, so what do I have to losoe?

Again, I want to point out that you need to have seperate rods for trolling and for casting. It's probably a simple thing for some, but just wanted to mention it. My experience is that trolling gear is heavier and requires different leaders, the question is how heavy gear affects the lure action.

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August 25, 2007
10:16 pm
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Tim,i think if your bottom grinding or bottom bouncing you should most likely have a leader at least 30" and it would be wise to make it solid{not flouro}.As far as different set ups for trolling?I have casting set ups and trolling set ups.But i do some serious trolling.If someone is a part time troller{troll from here to the every once in a while,or a day of trolling every now and then}you certainly could use your casting set up.Just dont make it your custom 400.00 set up.As far as 80lb super braid goes,I can remember one snag.I wrapped the line around a piece of pipe and preceeded to pull a 15',10" diameter tree from the bottom of the river.Bob

August 26, 2007
12:04 am
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T_Musky
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Bob,

I've been using flourocarbon for everything with musky fishing for the past year or so (my whole musky career). But, I've always heard wire leaders are better for trolling. I think I'm ready to switch for trolling depth raiders and plows in the rocks. Which kind are the best (brand, length, size etc.), or do you make your own and how?

Thanks,

Tim

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August 26, 2007
1:14 am
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Tim,i make my own{very eazy} but use them for casting jerkbaits.I use flouro for all my trolling,I just dont drag my lures over the rocks.I do have a trip to the larry and might do some bottom bouncing there.I'm sure i'll use solid for that though.Dubro make a leader twister that you can buy at any muskie shop.I beleive it comes with directions.Dont throw the flouro out though.Bob

August 26, 2007
1:30 am
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T_Musky
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Sounds good,

It's time to change anyway, I can't tie the palomar knot with any flourcarboen above 80 # test, time to learn some new leader tying. I'm still sticking with the flouro, but wire will definitely rip the weeds better and take more of a beating in some trolling situations.

Thanks,

Tim

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August 26, 2007
6:10 pm
dmccann
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Tim

I think you should stick with the long fluro leaders for trolling. One of the primary reasons for using a long fluro leader vs. a wire is when a bigger muskie rolls the wire leader can do much more damage to the fish. Also I've never used a wire leader that will not bend (I've used up to 150#) after fighting a fish or snagging. If you were to use a wire leader over 12" for trolling, I think you will be changing out leaders quite often, that is if you're connecting on anything. People who are concerned about the fish being leader shy use fluro as well, especially in clear water (St. Larry). I only use wire now with glide and jerks for the reason bigD mentions. I've been really happy with Stealth Fluro leaders. This guy's price is reasonable and will make them to any length you desire. muskyleaders@hotmail.com

Daniel McCann

August 28, 2007
7:51 pm
bigdriverguide
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I caugth my 48" on a 3' flourocarbon leader that I'd made myself. It's very inexpensive to buy a pair of crimping pliers, some crimps, swivels and snaps and make your own. As Dan said, a fish rolling itself up on a wire leader can get pretty torn up, whereas a nice long flouro leader will generally not harm the fish.

As far as trolling goes, I bought a couple of rods with Diawa line counter reels from Cabela's for about $50. per setup, on sale. These are great setups and very reliable. It's nice to be able to set up a couple rods for trolling and leave them that way. As Bob said, you don't want to be trolling with a top of the line Fig Rig or Loomis.

Capt. Dieter Scheel    http://www.BigDRiverGuide.com

August 29, 2007
5:44 pm
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T_Musky
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Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm always looking to learn what I can about all aspects of musky fishing.
[[%&]] <<<<><<<

It's almost time to get into fall trolling mode and this info helps a lot.

Team MTF

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